Study Notes

Colossians 3:5-15


We've been learning in the book of Colossians about the fact that we've died with Christ and been raised up. We pick up in verse five of chapter three.

3:5 Fleshly Indulgence Is Idolatry

We believe that in our society today, idols are a thing of the past. After all, no one is carving images out of wood or stone, covering them with gold and silver, and then bowing down to them. We think that we have progressed beyond those archaic ideas. However, what we've really become is just less honest with ourselves. You see, these sins that Paul lists can be boiled down to two categories: sex and money. And they both amount to idolatry.

People will compromise their beliefs and give up everything they have for sex or money. They're just idols, exactly the same as they were in ancient times, only now we're too "sophisticated" to be honest about it.

Dead To These Things

As you recall, Paul has been telling us that when...

Col. 2:13 were dead in your transgressions, ...He made you alive together with Him...

We were buried with Him in baptism (2:12), we have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world (2:20), and...

Col. 3:3 have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Since we're considered dead, we need to consider our bodies as dead to the idolatrous pursuit of sex and money.

3:6-7 God's Wrath Will Come Because Of These Things

The Bible tells us over and over that God's wrath is coming to this earth. When Enoch prophesied of this, he said that the Lord was coming...

Jude 15 to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him."

Through sheer repetition, we cannot miss the fact that God's wrath will come upon the world for ungodliness. It will come because of mankind's immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed.

The Bible assumes that you, as a Christian, are not living a life marked by this kind of stuff. Yes, you used to be immoral and greedy, lustful and impure. But now as a Christian, it is not to be present in your life.

Does this mean that you are not tempted? That your body doesn't have immoral desires? That your mind isn't tempted by money? Not at all. However, your response to those temptations should be very different than they used to be. Read verse eight...

3:8 Put Them All Aside

We are tempted, yes, but we are to put these things aside. They're right there in front of us all the time, but we put them aside. Paul said,

2Cor. 10:5 ...we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Did you know that it was that easy? You're tempted by a very attractive person - you just take that thought captive and put it aside. You discover that if you juggle this number or twist this truth, you could make a lot of money. But as a Christian, you choose to put that temptation aside. It's really that simple: it's just a matter of choice.

3:9-11 Don't Lie

One temptation that we find is so easy to give into is to lie to one another. We lie for many reasons: to protect our reputation, to make things easier for ourselves, or to stay out of trouble.

But we are supposed to be new people - created in His image. And since God cannot lie (Titus 1:2), hates a lying tongue more than nearly anything else (Prov. 6:17), and it is an abomination to Him (Prov. 12:22), we are also forbidden to lie.

As Christians, we often justify our lies with noble explanations. "I didn't want to hurt his feelings." "I just thought she was better off not knowing." "It wasn't a lie, I just didn't offer all the facts, that's all."

In the early days of the church, there were some amazing things going on. No one was in need, because people who had land or extra things would sell them and give the money to the church, to make sure that everyone was provided for.

Acts 5:1-2 But a certain man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back {some} of the price for himself, with his wife's full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles' feet.

Now, there was nothing wrong with what they did. It was their land, and it was perfectly alright to keep some of the money and donate the rest. But they were intentionally deceiving the others in the church, making it appear as if they'd donated the whole amount.

Acts 5:3-6 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back {some} of the price of the land? While it remained {unsold,} did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God." And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came upon all who heard of it. And the young men arose and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

When Ananias' wife perpetuated the lie, she also died. Why was this judgment so severe? Because when we lie to one another, we're really lying to God. May we consider this the next time we're tempted to twist the truth just a little.

3:12-15 What To Put On

Notice that the same way we're to put off those negative things, we are to put on the positive ones. Those things which God has shown Himself to be are what we need to make a conscious effort to put on: being compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, patient, bearing with one another, forgiving, loving, and thankful.

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